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Re: RIP, Carl Gorman, Code Talker



Tim May responded on Sat. January 31, 1998....

 >>- aside from the NSA sucking up everything in sight relating to
 >>languages, doesn't Chomsky's theoretical 'Universal Syntax' (all
 >>human languages have an identical fundamental syntax) negate the
 >>effectiveness of the Code-Talker approach in the long run?
 >>  
 >  "All crypto is economics." One doesn't have to jump to theoretical
 >  mumbo
 >  jumbo about a putative "identical fundamental syntax" to know that the
 >   Navajo code talkers were not using an unbreakable system.
	If there is a universal syntax, you could very quickly
	whip up a framework for the language involved and at least
	be able to identify nouns, verbs, etc. Then with each commun-
	ication expand and specify. I don't know if that's possible
	and therefore don't know if it's 'theoretical mumbo-jumbo'.
	It doesn't sound too far-fetched but then I'm an optomistic
	kinda guy eh.
>   But what mattered is that, for the level of security needed on the
>   battlefield, the system was "essentially secure" against Japanese
>   translation. Sure, in time the Japanese could have found some experts
>   on
>   Navajo, could have trained their own code talker translators, etc. But
>   they
>   didn't have this time. (And if we posit "enough time," then the U.S.
>   military would have had enough time to drop the Navajo code talkers
>   and
>   replace them with Ebonics code talkers. Dat be da jive, mo fo.)
	We had plenty of time in Somalia to capture 'Warlord' Aidide.
	Not only did we fail to capture him, he rubbed it in with a
	daily radio program. We couldn't find the ever-moving trans-
	mitter let alone close it down. I well remember our top Butt
	Sniffer in Somalia royally pissed off on TV vowing that we'd
	throw everything we had into the hunt and bring him to justice.
	Aidide was still standing there, flipping us The Bird as we 
	left. 
	My impression was that the Somalies 'under-teched' us. Being
	dirt-poor must have made that an easy decision. But they 
	executed it very well. The most powerful, technologically soph-
	isticated military machine in human history found itself
	groping stupidly in the dark when up against a non-tech
	foe. We're obviously utterlly and completely dependent on 
	our toys. Take our batteries away and we're S.O.L.

>   "All crypto is economics."
> 	  
>   --Tim May
	Hmmm...There it is again. It's interesting but a bit ambiguous.	  

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